Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021

Nicola Sturgeon ‘record of shame’ exposed – SNP chief blasted over appalling child poverty

Scotland: IndyRef2 would be an 'absolute disaster' says MSP

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Ahead of the Holyrood election in May, Ms Sturgeon pledged to increase the Scottish Child Payment from £10 per week to £20 per week. However, her promise has been criticised by Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

Speaking to journalists, Mr Sarwar lashed out at the First Minister claiming she has “presided over a quarter of children” living in poverty across Scotland.

Mr Sarwar said: “That was a policy that I announced in February, which I’m pleased the government is now looking at.

“What I would say though is, it’s one thing to say fighting child poverty is going to be your national mission when you’re coming new to government.

“But having been in government for 14 years, having been First Minister for seven years, Nicola Sturgeon has presided over a quarter of our children across this country living in poverty.

“And in her constituency in Glasgow Southside, almost 50 percent of children live in poverty.

“That’s a record of shame, and frankly Scotland deserves better than that.”

He also attacked Ms Sturgeon’s continuous calls for a second independence referendum.

Pledging to end child poverty, Ms Sturgeon said: “I want to make ending child poverty a driving mission for the next Parliament.

“If we are re-elected on May 6, we will – over the course of the next term – increase the Scottish Child Payment from £10 per week for each eligible child to £20 per week.

“It’s time to end the scandal of child poverty and this will help do it.

“It is a downpayment on what will be possible when we have the full powers over tax and social security that only independence can deliver.”

Earlier this month, Ms Sturgeon was warned the election of Mr Sarwar as Labour leader could pose a threat to her seat in Glasgow.

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Brian Monteith, the editor of ThinkScotland.org, said support for the opposition parties is “turning” and Mr Sarwar could encourage more “tactical voting” elsewhere.

He said: “All of that offers hope for the opposition that the tide is turning, but here’s the kicker, Sarwar could well stand in the same constituency that Sturgeon currently holds with a handsome majority – and with the possibility of tactical voting becoming half of Scotland’s new favourite pastime and SNP support falling she might then lose.

“Even were the First Minister to hang on a fall in her support would be a serious embarrassment and Sarwar’s challenge a rallying cry to encourage tactical voting elsewhere.”

Mr Monteith went on to say how Ms Sturgeon is also ranked second on the SNP’s Glasgow regional list but could be “out of politics” altogether if she does not win Glasgow Southside.

Recent polls have indicated support for the SNP, Ms Sturgeon and Scottish independence have all dropped ahead of the Holyrood election.

A Savanta ComRes poll, published earlier this month, found favourability for the Scottish First Minister and the Scottish Government has plummeted.

The poll also indicated the popularity of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK Government has increased.

When asked in the poll who they would vote for in their constituency, 48 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for the SNP.

This is down by six percent from the same poll asked last month.

The poll also found support for the SNP is down in the regional list, with just 40 percent saying they would vote for Ms Sturgeon’s party.

This is also a drop by three percent from February’s poll.

Scotland will go to the polls on May 6.

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